It is not my intention for this post to start a flame war. It is also not my intention to copy everything on this topic from my book, TRANScending Earth. It is my intention for this post to inform, unite, and uplift. I hope it offers a relatively succinct, factual, and spiritual argument for why most “transgender” individuals should be considered intersex.
For the past forty years or so, people have used the term “transgender” to describe individuals whose biological sex does not match their gender identity. In general, biological sex refers to a person’s exterior and internal reproductive organs, and whether they have two X chromosomes or one X and one Y. Gender identity refers to a person’s knowledge of what sex they are. Children generally develop an understanding of their gender identity by age two or three (Slab, Frey, 1975), and while this can fluctuate while they are in their formative years, and they can go through phases where they are confused, most children have a gender identity that aligns with their biological sex. By age seven to eight, they understand that gender does not change (that they will be a boy or a girl for the rest of their lives) (Marcus, Overton, 1978).
The term “intersex” means literally “between sexes,” and is generally used to describe individuals whose exterior genitals are ambiguous. This is generally due to a genetic abnormality and in the past, doctors would choose the sex and perform surgery on the newborn, but this practice is less frequently used nowadays because of the number of mistakes that occurred and the trauma it caused the child. (There are so many sources for this that it would be a waste of space to list them all, but here’s one). Apparently, the easiest surgery to perform does not always correspond to the true sex of the baby! This should lead a thinking person to say, “Hm…maybe exterior genitalia isn’t a really good indicator of gender identity, then…and something else determines what gender a person believes themselves to be.” Indeed. We’ll get there–keep reading.
Scientific Observation of “Transgender” Individuals
Those who are identified as “transgender” tend to assert a gender opposite of their biological sex in their very early childhood, and this generally does not vary as they get older. Many “transgender” individuals report that, from a very early age, they remember *knowing* that when they grew up, they would grow into the opposite sex. They and their parents report consistently gender-opposite behavior. This is not the same as the typical fluctuations that confused preschoolers experience, but instead entails consistent assertions that they are actually the opposite sex that they appear to be.
Recent studies have shown that “transgender” individuals tend to have brain activity that aligns with the gender they believe themselves to be. There are a ton of these studies. Here are some:
So let’s sum up the facts here, and see if we can come to a reasonable conclusion:
1) “Transgender” individuals consistently assert that they are the opposite gender than their biological sex from a very early age, and this doesn’t fluctuate as they get older.
2) “Intersex” means that a person has a physiological ambiguity–there are physical characteristics of both sexes present in the body.
3) Doctors used to perform the easiest surgery (the one that would lead to the most “normal” genitalia) on intersex newborns, but aren’t doing this as often now because sometimes, they learned later on that the baby’s gender identity did not align with the chosen surgery. Therefore, something else must drive gender identity than the most prevalent, visible genitalia…
4) Brain scans have shown that “transgender” individuals’ brain activity corresponds with the gender they believe themselves to be.
5) The brain is a part of the body! It’s a physical thing! It is actually, according to modern science, the most important sex organ of the body (and develops differently for boys and girls before puberty). It controls more of your sexual development than anything else.
Therefore: It seems that “transgender” individuals probably have brain structures that correspond with the gender that is opposite of their biological sex. Since the brain is a physiological thing, and brain structure is something you can actually see and measure with an instrument (not an amorphous, noncorporeal thing floating in your head), and the brain is the most important sex organ of the body, it is safe to conclude that “transgender” individuals are actually “between sexes”…or “intersex.”
Why the LGB Should Lose the T
Since the 1960s, the LGBT movement has gained tremendous momentum and is now a prevalent part of American consciousness. Whether an individual is for them or against them, the individual likely knows that they exist, and has at least a cursory understanding of what they stand for. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals have found refuge and solace in LGBT support groups. Activist groups have reminded us that LGBT individuals are more likely to be unemployed, homeless, victims of crime, and commit suicide than other groups. Lobbyists have pushed for legislation that would make it a crime to discriminate against someone based upon LGBT status. There are rumblings within the movement itself that the T in LGBT is many times silent–forgotten or discarded, for whatever reason. And here I am saying that it should have never been there in the first place. Why would I say such an inflammatory thing, when so many “transgender” individuals have found support, love, and acceptance by being embraced into the open arms of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual individuals and their allies?
Most people in the LGBT movement acknowledge that gender identity is not an indicator of sexual orientation. What this means is that you might believe yourself to be a different gender than your biological sex, but that doesn’t mean that you are or are not attracted to any gender in particular. From the very beginning, “transgender” (the T) was erroneously lumped into this category of “sexual orientation” (the LGB) because the two seemed to be related, but in reality, the only relation they shared was that people believed deviance in sexual orientation or gender identity was akin to choosing sin.
But more than the fact that sexual orientation and gender identity are fundamentally different things, if “transgender” is really “intersex,” then “transgender” is not even a thing at all. In fact, if “transgender” is really “intersex”, then the correct direction society should move in should be toward classifying it as a medical condition. As brain scans improve in accuracy and they are used more frequently, we will be able to detect whether a baby’s brain is structurally forming as a male or a female. Then a decision must be made. Correct the brain to match the body, or correct the body to match the brain. I write more about this in my book, and this could probably be a book all by itself, but my conclusion is that it is dangerous and morally wrong to try to “correct” the brain to match the body. Even when it does become medically feasible to do this, it would fundamentally change the person’s personality and everything about them, and that is spiritually wrong. There is a question of medical ethics and spirituality, especially for those who ascribe to the LDS Church’s belief that our spirits were present in the pre-mortal existence, and that we chose to come to this Earth. It seems that the only medically and spiritually ethical decision to be made is to correct the body to match the brain, as the rest of the body doesn’t have the same spiritual connection to a person’s spirit as the brain does.
If it becomes the medically accepted practice to begin correcting the body to match the brain from early youth, then growing up “transgender” will become just like growing up with any other physical frailty or disorder. Treatments will be given. Parental support will be present. Society won’t give it a second thought (any moreso than society second-guesses the medical care of a child with, say, juvenile diabetes). And no social movement will be needed, because no social change will be needed.
Gender is an Eternal Characteristic
“Transgender” individuals should recognize that their best chance at achieving peace and harmony in society is to acknowledge this is a medical condition, and not a choice. Unfortunately, an ugly side of the LGBT movement has started to inch society toward a moral relativism that will lead to our destruction. Lately, an attitude has been expressed in the public’s view that previously was only expressed in privacy and among friends. This is the assertion that an individual has a “right” to choose their gender. That an individual has a “right” to choose their sexual orientation. This is an assertion that goes beyond the libertarian view that the government has no place in your bedroom (a view I thoroughly agree with), and goes as far as to say, “I may *not* have been born this way–but I have every right to live however I want.” This is a view that leads to the false concept of gender fluidity, and moral relativism.
For the record, as a libertarian I believe that people have a right to make choices for themselves, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. I believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that true freedom is the ability to make a mistake. I believe that even if I think something is a sin, that doesn’t mean that I have any right to stop a person from doing it. However, I also believe that if we, as a society, choose moral relativism over the Lord’s Commandments, we will wind up in the dustbin of history as a nation that committed slow and painful suicide.
Whatever your rights may be under our government’s law, it is not your “right”, under the Lord’s law, to choose your gender or your sexual orientation. While our biological sex may not correspond to our gender identity, science and scriptures tell us that our brain does, actually, conform to our spirit’s gender. The Lord made our spirits a certain way (Jeremiah 1:5), and this is the way we will remain for all eternity. It is spiritually wrong to choose to live as another gender that doesn’t conform to your spirit. Gender is an eternal characteristic, as the Proclamation to the Family tells us.
My Patriarchal Blessing confirmed to me that I am indeed a man, that I have always been a man, and that I always will be a man. It would be a sin for me to shirk my responsibilities as a man and live as a woman. In the long run, the Lord’s law will make us happier than we ever could have been doing something that we thought would make us happy, or that seemed to us to be easier to do. And the Lord has placed us here in the roles that we are in so that we might learn about what His kingdom will be like when we are resurrected, and serve Him for eternity. One day, we will be life-giving Spirits (1 Corinthians 15), like Jesus Himself (1 John 3:2). This probationary period on this earth serves the purpose of teaching us how to get to that point. We will take our experiences with us to the Kingdom. Right here and now, we are building what we will take with us.
If we, as a society, reject the Lord’s model of gender, then we will not draw near to the Lord…we will be move away from Him. Gender is a very important part of our development in this world, and our preparation for our exaltation in the afterlife. I believe that the Lord put my spirit in this body because He knew that I would be able to uncover the Truth, and would lead others to Him. I believe that I, like the man who was blind from birth (John 9:1-3), am made this way so that the Glory of God might show through me. I believe that there is a much greater future for intersex individuals than any “movement” could provide (Isaiah 56). That future belongs to the Lord. We have a choice to make–we can live as He made us, in accordance with the gender that we really are, or we can hide our talent in the dirt as the wicked servant did, and fail to learn and grow (Matthew 25).
To deny a person the right to live as the gender that corresponds to his spirit is to deny a person his life, his liberty, and his pursuit of happiness. But more than this, it is to deny him his ability to learn and grow in preparation of eternal life. It is to deny him the experiences that he might have taken with him back to the Father. To force a person to stay “closeted”, living in the gender that corresponds to his chromosomes, is to lock him in a cage and prevent him from reaching his full potential. It might also cut his life short. I know it would have done so for me (I’ll go into the medical details in another post).
I know these things are True, and if you pray about them with an open heart, the Holy Spirit will witness their Truth unto you. I write this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.